Readability is important – programming principle that should be used by everyone

When you’re working in programming teams, code readability is very important to the overall quality of the system – that is if you care for it in the long run. You have to consider that other people don’t know what your code means and you want them to understand it as quickly and properly as possible. Confusing code is hard to maintain and can lead to problems like bugs and more overhead for QA. Also it leads to motivational issues for the developer(s) and plain ol’ grumpyness. Not to mention money wasted used to refactor or maybe even rewrite the existing code to be able to start developing new features and work in a “healthy” environment again. This is the programming principle I’m talking about.

The (code) readability principle can be applied to other areas not just programming. Marketing departments often have a significant amount of documents containing strategies, routines, testing, research and more. When the documents are unformatted, unstructured, perhaps other information is copy+pasted into the document – it’s basically just a long list of words – it’s demotivating for the reader to just read the document. It’s imprinted into memory that this document is a hassle and it doesn’t give a positive signal for further usage/maintainance. I could go on with the psychological issues but I think you got the point already.

Please spend more time formatting your documents and you’ll create a better working environment, more efficient information sharing and the company will earn more money.

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